Engineering company CoalTech has launched a proven technology which converts coal fines waste into energy to address the environmental concerns of South Africa and beyond.

This technology breakthrough was announced at the Investing in African Mining Indaba this week and seeks to create value in the form of an energy resource from coal fines waste with its revolutionary pelletising technology, supporting a sustainable future for the generations to come.

CoalTech’s new technology converts the coal fines into coal pellets and represents a viable solution to exploit a non-utilised by-product of the coal industry, which is at levels as high as around 30 Bt globally.

At present, the CoalTech industrial plant in South Africa, is sized to produce 10 000 tpm of coal pellets.

The coal pellets produced have been thoroughly tested over the past three years and verified to meet industry requirements by Bureau Veritas.

CoalTech said in a statement that given the country’s position as a dominant coal supplier in the region, with a large amounts of accessible coal waste, South Africa represents the first market to operate the CoalTech pelletising technology.

According to the International Energy Association, approximately 2.4 Bt of existing coal fines in South Africa could potentially generate 4.600 terawatt hours of electricity (Tw/h). This represents three times more than sub-Saharan Africa’s energy demand of 1.300 Tw/h as forecasted for 2040.

CoalTech’s technology will propel economic growth, provide a new source of energy to generate electricity to cover the overall continent needs and create local jobs in the region. In addition, it is positively impacting the environment through the conversion of wasted material into energy and compliance with stringent government regulations.

Globally, the increased cost of coal extraction, enhanced environmental concerns regarding the release of CO2, and diminishing vacant land for mine waste deposits, has led to a major challenge for the mining industry. The un-utilised coal fines of 30 Bt worldwide, can be reused with the environmental friendly CoalTech technology, enhancing productivity of mines by up to 20% and secure higher returns on investment.

CoalTech chairman Filippo Fantechi believes that with mine operators rebalancing their investments to get more out of their existing assets, CoalTech’s technology is a game changer.

“We can help them maximize mine output through re-use of their by-products, generate energy more efficiently and cost-effectively, and address the global waste management challenges,” he says.

CoalTech seeks to create value through:

  • creating a commercially and industrially viable pelletized coal product
  • reducing the environmental impact and eliminating coal industry waste
  • converting residual waste product, into a readily usable product
  • eliminating the storage and operational costs of the coal waste lagoons
  • reducing restoration costs and rehabilitation of slurry lagoons at the mine’s end of lifetime

CoalTech has a presence in ME, the USA and South Africa.

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